Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Translation: life
Today started at 5:3o this morning when my cabin-mate Sarah woke me up. I had volunteered her to help our friend, Bill, make pancakes for the crew, so I felt like I should join in for fun. The two hours went by fast flipping pancakes and taking them downstairs from the galley to the dining room. Its a fun way to serve the crew- I even learned how to make smiling pancakes to brighten people's day! Morning report in the OR starts about 8am- by this time, I was wide awake and ready to go! This week I have been working with nurses, Ase and Margreta from Sweden. I have some swedish blood so I learned "Tack sa mycket" which means "Thank you very much." I love the international community! I have been working in VVF surgery for a couple weeks now (vesico-vaginal fistula). I will have to blog more about this surgery another time, but what a honor it is to assist in something so life changing for these women. I waited on the pre-op bench for my first patient to arrive- and what a smile she on her face when I greeted her! Even with no teeth, her whole face was smiling and her hands waving in the air! No translation needed- I knew how thankful and happy she was to be on the ship. We prayed with a translator for healing and I brought her to the OR. She smiled even through the spinal anesthetic and even moving her to the stretcher at the end- I could still see the joy in her face! Second VVF case I scrubbed to assist the surgeons and it went couple hours over lunch. It was so close to dinner, I grabbed a frappuccino and some trail mix for a snack. I had a nice break in the library reading a magazine. I returned back to the OR for the third VVF surgery to circulate until dinner.  I can spend hours at dinner, not eating, but just endless conversations with friends. Afterwards, I had an interview for an OR magazine so it was neat to share my stories from the past 5 months. By my 15th hour I was still going and needed to use up some energy and went for a walk with my friend, Karen, on the dock- good talks while dodging the motorbikes passing us. Now, I find myself in the dining room again with friends catching up on emails drinking hot tea (and milk)- its European style, but so good! A couple hours has passed and not much accomplished on my computer, but I thank God for the time I had talking with friends like Emily, Jane, Margreet, and Tim about life. Today was good, life is good. 

"... I have come that they may have life and have it to the full." John 10:10

Friday, June 5, 2009

Jesus, Lover of My Soul

Jesus, Lover of My Soul

"It's all about You, Jesus
And all this is for You
For Your glory and Your fame

It's not about me
As if You should do things my way
You alone are God and I surrender
To Your ways

Jesus, lover of my soul
All consuming fire is in Your gaze
Jesus, I want You to know
I will follow You all my days

For no one else in history is like You
And history itself belongs to You
Alpha and Omega, You have loved me
And I will spend eternity with You"

At community meeting we sang this song and it struck a note (no pun intended) in me. I have had a lot on my mind with big changes going on in my life. Friends leaving and new people coming to the ship. More responsibilities in the operating room. I need to be reminded why I am here. It really is for Jesus. For His fame and it is not about me.  My “way” does not matter and I’m praying what God has next for me in life. I love what I am doing here and I cannot see myself anywhere else. I know God has given me this desire to use my nursing skills for something far greater than making an income. I have learned more in the 5 months I've been here than 3 years out of school. The teamwork in the OR, the “thank yous” from the doctors, the smiles and hugs from our patients, and seeing healing prayers answered- outweigh anything on this earth. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I never thought I would find myself sharing a small space (like a walk-in closet) and bunk beds with another person. However, God answered so many prayers by sending Ashley across my path. We met in Introduction to Mercy Ships last summer- a week of orientation about the ministry. We instantly clicked being both from Texas and operating room nurses. Man, could we talk about bodily fluids and disgusting surgeries over meals! Since then, we talked often about heading to the Africa Mercy about the same time so we purchased our tickets together. What a blessing it was to travel 24 hrs + with a friend to a foreign land. We arrived on the Africa Mercy and quickly unpacked into our cabin to prepare for the months ahead serving in Benin. We had so much in common- both of us packed gray T-shirt sheets along with T-shirt quilts. We both have mac books and coffee mugs with pictures. We have similar eye glasses and one dimple when we smile (someone noticed!).  Ashley and I are both night owls and every night was a blessing when we stayed up and talked about life. One night, I was charge call and she stayed up to help me in the OR and then we enjoyed the lightening storm outside until 4am. We shared germs and colds, but more than anything, we share a desire to use our nursing skills for God's glory. We loved to share His hope in healing to the sick. Ashley just left this past week to go home, but I trust God has great plans in store for her and pray we will be reunited again on the mission field- and sharing a bunk of course.  I call bottom! :) Miss you Ash! 
Romans 12:1-2 "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will."


The views expressed here are solely mine and are not the opinion of AWC/Mercy Ships.